I've been finding some great type and lettering in the last couple months. These are all found around Los Angeles and Big Bear, California.
Recently, I've been reaching in to some of the LA design community, hoping to build on my own work and expand my perspective and understanding of the bigger picture. There are some great things happening here that bring design and the needs of various LA communities together. One being an event called Design for Good LA sponsored by AIGA Los Angeles. This year was the 2nd of DfGLA's 24-hour Design Blitz, where 30 or so designers were placed in 6 teams, working on design solutions for 6 local non-profits.
About 3 weeks ago, 10am on a Saturday, we briefly met one another as our teams were named and assigned. Then, within moments, the team and I were interviewing our non-profit "clients" to get as much understanding of their needs as possible in order to start our work for them. Then, we spent the next 24-hours straight researching, strategizing, designing, and critiquing (and getting really goofy in the late/early morning hours) toward the solution for our client's needs. My team worked with Koreatown Youth and Community Center's Mid City preschool, Kids Town. They needed a new logo and a brochure. Our job as a team was to give Kids Town some much needed competitive edge in a very competitive preschool market. We could see how passionate and hard-working the reps from KYCC were, so we tried to put our equal best into creating something they could use and be proud of. It was an amazing process and I met some fantastic people.
Last night, each team presented their work to the non-profit clients and others from the design community. It was great seeing my team and our clients again, and to see how happy they were with our work. They had seen our work ahead of time and had already printed their new brochures and some business cards for an upcoming event, so we were the only team to leave the wrap-up event with our work in our hands.
I love archival photos and documents, so lately I've been rapt with attention over some well-preserved items from one arm of my family on my Mom's side. My Gramma was an incredible record-keeper and archivist, even if she didn't realize it. Now 6 years after my Gramma's death, my Mom and I are uncovering hundreds more photos and documents than we realized she'd kept. Because of the wealth of documentation we have, I've started working on a book that organizes and places a (fairly large) selection of these images and writings together to tell as whole a story as we can tell. It's like investigating and uncovering the details of a cold case. While my Gramma kept the records of her family in near-pristine condition, she labeled and wrote relatively little. I suppose only the things she thought important. The book will take a while, but in the process, I really enjoy certain elements of these documents that have nothing to do with family at all... like the amazing penmanship! One recent discovery were these land deeds from 1904, belonging to my 5th-great grandparents:
It's amazing to me that these documents are 110 years old, that they've outlived so many generations of my family. It's the closest I'll ever get to meeting them and hearing their stories.
The varied landscape and handmade culture of the island of Kauai is inspiring in many ways, one (for me) being the wealth of fantastic hand-painted lettering and signage. This is just a selection of what I saw while traveling around the island in August.